Also known as Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is a globally celebrated occasion that transcends cultural boundaries. Beginning on 10 February 2024, with festivities traditionally lasting for 16 days, the focus is on spending time with family, exchanging gifts, festive decorations, the countdown celebrations and firework extravaganza on New Year’s Eve.
Each year corresponds to an animal from the 12 year cycles of the Chinese zodiac, and 2024 marks the Year of the Dragon. In Chinese astrology, people born under this sign are believed to be enthusiastic, confident and intelligent.
The lead up to the celebrations is filled with traditions, including sweeping away the dust to get rid of any bad luck from the old year, gifting red envelopes containing money to friends and family and adorning homes with decorations in red, gold and the coming year’s zodiac animal. Family reunions are also a significant part of the festivities, with the New Year’s Eve dinner taking centre stage.
From concerts and bilingual ceilidh to shopping experiences and workshops, there are a fantastic range of events taking place in Edinburgh this year as part of Edinburgh Chinese New Year Festival:
Events and workshops
- Paper-cutting & woodblock printing workshop – Learn the basic skills of folding and cutting paper and create unique and beautiful patterns at the Paper-cutting & woodblock printing workshop. All materials will be provided.
27 January and 03 February 2024.
- Chinese calligraphy experience: bring your own ‘FU’ home – Experience the ‘Four Treasures of the Study’ with Chinese calligraphy experience at Strathberry: bring your own ‘FU’ home. Taking place at Strathberry at Multrees Walk, artists will be creating bespoke, complimentary artworks, allowing customers to experience this treasured tradition for themselves.
03 February 2024
- The Mound Chinese New Year celebration for Scotland – Immerse in cultural and artistic displays themed on traditional Chinese New Year celebrations at the free-to-attend Mound Chinese New Year celebration for Scotland 2024. Festivities start at 12noon.
04 February 2024.
- Johnnie Walker Journey of Flavour: Mandarin tour – Embark on Johnnie Walker’s Journey of Flavour: Mandarin tour and go on an epic journey through live performances, light shows, tastings and more. Dive into the tales behind whisky and savour its exquisite taste.
09 February and 11 February 2024.
- Handbag workshops at Islander UK – Join the Handbag workshops at Islander UK from 09 to 11 February 2024 and receive a complimentary Royal Stewart Tartan card holder – a perfect red keepsake for Chinese New Year 2024. They are also offering shoppers a free Islander UK red pouch filled with goodies for purchases over £100.
Available from 09 to 24 February 2024.
- Edinburgh Chinese New Year concert – Performed by the elegant Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra at the renowned Usher Hall, the Edinburgh Chinese New Year concert celebrates the most important festival in the Chinese calendar with a ground-breaking collaboration of Highland dancing and Peking Opera. Don’t miss the lion and dragon dance outside at 5.30pm.
10 February 2024.
- Tarot card reading at Harvey Nichols – Discover what lies ahead in 2024 with a Tarot card reading at Harvey Nichols. Hosted by a leading palmist, astrologer and tarot card reader, guests will have a 15 minute 1:1 appointment within the private and luxurious surroundings of Harvey Nichols’ Private Shopping suite.
10 February 2024.
- Edinburgh Castle lit up in red – To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Edinburgh Castle will be illuminated in vibrant red, creating a perfect spot for both tourists and locals to capture memorable photos.
10 February 2024.
- Year of the Dragon at Camera Obscura & World of Illusions – At Camera Obscura & World of Illusions the building will be lit up in red and some of their exhibits will be decorated to mark the year of the dragon.
10 to 24 February 2024.
- Lion dance performance at St James Quarter – Power into the Year of the Dragon and celebrate Chinese New Year at St James Quarter. Be amazed by traditional Lion Dance performances at 12pm and 1pm, and enjoy red envelope giveaways, symbolising good wishes and luck for the year ahead.
10 February 2024.
- Win at The Scotch Whisky Experience – Be a winner at the Scotch Whisky Experience this Chinese New Year! On 10 February 2024, say ‘Happy New Year’ to one of the retail staff to see if you will be one of 10 winners to receive a lucky red envelope with a prize enclosed. The building will also be lit up in red between 09 and 11 February 2024 to celebrate Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon.
- Chinese Lunar New Year family trail and craft sessions – Suitable for children, and available on a drop-in basis, take a trip round the historic St Cecilia’s Hall: Concert Room & Music Museum for the Chinese Lunar New Year family trail and see if you can spot the hidden dragon eggs. Or make your own dragon mask at the craft sessions. Selected dates from 10 to 17 February 2024
- Chinese and English bilingual ceilidh – This year, The Confucius Institute for Scotland is hosting a Chinese and English bilingual ceilidh. Enjoy the joy and breathless wonder of the traditional Scottish ceilidh as a celebration of the arrival of the Year of the Dragon. Just bring your joy and energy and prepare for the potential of feeling dizzy!
11 February 2024.
- Taster sessions of Chen Style Tai Chi – Available both online and in-person, join Master Liming Yue for Wood Dragon Chinese New Year celebration seminars. Participants will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Chen Style Tai Chi & Qigong, harnessing benefits like enhanced energy and strength.
11 to 13 February 2024.
- Edinburgh’s Chinese New Year bilingual ceilidh – St Cecilia’s Hall is making the joy of traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing accessible to visitors, students and residents from China. Enjoy the live music in a historic dancing space at Edinburgh’s Chinese New Year bilingual ceilidh.
13 February 2024.
- Chinese New Year concert at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – Experience the rich tapestry of Chinese culture at the unforgettable Chinese New Year concert, brought to you by the talented musicians of Tianjin University of Finance and Economics from China. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy Chinese cultural experiences before the concert begins, including tea ceremony, calligraphy and Hongbao red envelope) activities.
16 February 2024.
- Tangyuan and lantern making workshop – Enjoy some sweetness and celebrate Lantern festival at the Tangyuan and lantern making workshop. All materials will be provided.
18 February 2024.
Food and drink offers
- Celebrate at The Potions Cauldron Edinburgh – Join in celebrating Chinese New Year at Potions Cauldron with the enchantment of limited edition ‘Hotterscotch’ Butterbeer – a magical fusion of their popular Spellbound Butterbeer. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to spin the lucky wheel and win fantastic prizes!
From 09 to 24 February 2024.
- Chinese New Year celebration at Ozen Street Food – Ozen, Edinburgh’s premier authentic street food brand, proudly awarded ‘UK Best Bao Bun’ by the Bao Bun Society, invite you to celebrate Chinese New Year with their exclusive offer – receive 1 free side for every 4 bao buns purchased.
Available on 10 February 2024.
- Festive offer at Ting Thai – Say “Chinese New Year Offer” at one of Ting Thai’s two Edinburgh restaurants and get a free roti when you order a main dish.
Available until 23 February 2024.
- ROOMZZZ EDINBURGH Offer – One of Edinburgh’s newest aparthotels, Roomzzz Edinburgh is offering an exclusive ‘New Year: Explore’ offer. Save up to 20% on a stay when you extend your getaway to 3, 4, or 5 nights.
Offer valid until 31 March 2024.
- Lunar New Year style with Canada Goose – Embrace the symbolic power of the year of the dragon with the tried-and-true outdoor essentials of Canada Goose. Available in Canada Goose at Multrees Walk.
From 05 January to 25 February 2024.
- Mulberry x Mira Mikati Year of the Dragon capsule – Designer Mira Mikati refreshes a series of Mulberry styles with the Dragon Capsule. Her bright and bold signature colour palettes is a collaboration that perfectly encapsulates the joyful spirit of the dragon. Available at Multrees Walk store.
Available from 10 January 2024.
- Celebrate with world duty free at Edinburgh Airport – Discover premium whisky brands, unique souvenirs, including renowned international labels, Scottish shortbread and British teas at Edinburgh Airport’s World Duty Free. Spend £288 or above to receive an £18 discount voucher, perfect for your New Year travels.
Available from 22 January to 25 February 2024.
- Limited-edition Legend of the Dragon collection at Rituals – Inspired by the ancient tales of the Chinese imperial dragon with its mythical powers and strength, this limited-edition collection is designed around the belief that we carry an invisible power within ourselves. Explore the collection and receive unique, complimentary gift wrapping when you make a purchase in the Rituals store in St James Quarter.
Available from 29 January to 10 February 2024.
- Enhanced rates at No1 Currency – Enjoy enhanced buy and sell travel money rates at No1 Currency. Simply say “Chinese New Year” in any of the three branches in Edinburgh to apply for a better rate.
Available from 01 to 29 February 2024.
- Strathberry red envelope giveaway and Year of the Dragon collection – Visit their store at Multrees Walk from 03 to 10 February 2024 for the Strathberry red envelope giveaway and get a free pack of Strathberry bespoke lucky Red Envelope Set for the year of Dragon. They have also unveiled an exclusive Year of the Dragon collection, featuring vibrant floral motifs and dragon elements inspired by traditional Chinese paintings.
- Celebrate with Michael Kors Edinburgh – Spend £100 at Michael Kors Edinburgh and receive a special gift to celebrate Chinese New Year. Book an appointment with one of their stylists to shop new arrivals and receive a complimentary beverage.
Available 04 to 10 February 2024.
- Shop exclusive offers at Kiehl’s in St James Quarter – Come for an in-store personalised skincare session and treat yourself to new skincare essentials for less to celebrate Chinese New Year. Spend £60 or more and receive a limited-edition gift with your purchase, plus join the Kiehl’s family and you’ll enjoy 15% off.
Available from 05 to 18 February 2024.
- Year of the Dragon with Johnstons of Elgin – Welcome a warm New Year with Johnstons of Elgin. Their Year of the Dragon Oversized Cashmere Scarf is 100% Cashmere and available in camel adorned with a Merlot Red Dragon or light grey featuring a Charcoal Grey Dragon.
- Johnnie Walker Blue Label: Year of the Dragon – Embrace the Lunar New Year with the exquisite Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Dragon limited edition, adorned with a captivating design by renowned artist James Jean. With tasting notes of hazelnut, sherry and dark chocolate, and a rounded smoky finish, this stellar dram is now available at Johnnie Walker Princess Street.
- Cambridge Satchel: Year Of The Dragon collection – To mark the year of the dragon, Cambridge Satchel presents a new limited edition collection. Shop bags and accessories in rich red and emerald tones, complete with intricate dragon detailing in gold, symbolising strength, power and prosperity.
- ScotlandShop: Chinese Scottish tartan collection – Discover the Chinese-Scottish tartan at ScotlandShop designed to symbolise the cooperation and harmony that exists between Chinese and Scottish people worldwide.
Edinburgh Chinese New Year Festival 2024
Full listings of all events and exclusive retail, food and drink and accommodation offers.